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fhoenix

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[image] 
By Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

The Atlee Junior League softball team was removed from the World Series championship game on Saturday after posting an inappropriate photo on social media.

According to the Richmond-Times Dispatch, Little League officials were made aware of the photo, which shows several members of the team giving the middle finger to the camera, on Saturday morning. It was quickly decided to disqualify the team, which consists of girls ages 12-14, from further competition.

The photo in question was taken moments after Atlee defeated Kirkland American in the semifinals on Friday.

Here’s a look.


[DGcdhd7VwAADnwB] 

Little League spokesman Kevin Fountain released the following statement to the Times-Dispatch explaining the committee’s decision:

“After discovering a recent inappropriate social media post involving members of Atlee Little League’s Junior League Softball tournament team, the Little League® International Tournament Committee has removed the Southeast Region from the 2017 Junior League Softball World Series for violation of Little League’s policies regarding unsportsmanlike conduct, inappropriate use of social media, and the high standard that Little League International holds for all its participants.”

As a result of the disqualification, Kirkland American was given Atlee’s spot in the championship game.

Atlee manager Scott Currie was clear in stating that the photo reflected poor sportsmanship, but wasn’t convinced the post was enough to “justify the disqualification.”

“Somebody got a hold of it. I guess they ran it through to Williamsport,” Currie said. “Williamsport decided to disqualify us.”

Coach Chris Mardigian added that the photo was in response to the treatment Atlee players received from members of the Kirkland American team during their visit. Kirkland serves as the host city for the tournament.

That may explain his team’s actions, but it doesn’t justify them. It’s a truly unfortunate way for a team’s memorable journey to end. But it’s also a good lesson on the importance of making good decisions and acting responsibly at all times.


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fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #2 
I am sure someone here knows of this incident, was there, or has experienced something similar.
If not DQ what do you do?
Teams got booted for losing on purpose before.
I dealt with racism back in the 60s and 70s at games in arkansas and mississippi etc. and been called every name and tell my grandaughter as i told my daughter and 
when I speak to black teens to suck it up, act like you momma and poppa raised you better, be better than those attacking you, let your play on the field speak for you. Acting a fool gets you a quick laugh but makes you the ass and the bad guy. Accountability

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cash

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Reply with quote  #3 
Good! Its about time bad behavior is punished and these immature girls held accountable for their conduct!! They're old enough to know better. Might be bitter pill to swallow, but it's nice to see someone is trying to teach our young people how to behave.
Softballjunkie223

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I'm not sure how many players were on the team and by my count I only see 6 players. so I guess there must be some devestated young girls on the team who were not involved. It sucks that a whole team is punished because of a stupid few.
Yes I'm glad they are being punished.
1janiedough

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Softballjunkie223
I'm not sure how many players were on the team and by my count I only see 6 players. so I guess there must be some devestated young girls on the team who were not involved. It sucks that a whole team is punished because of a stupid few. Yes I'm glad they are being punished.



Actually I think it's great the whole team got punished for the actions of a few.  It's a team sport, and now peer pressure on the sidelines may be a mofo for the offending girls.[smile]
spazsdad

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Reply with quote  #6 
When I first saw the title I thought, thank God, they removed LL Softball. It's a wretched product and a piss poor representation of the sport.
scfastpitch

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Reply with quote  #7 
They did Little League a favor . I would imagine the tv crowd will look better with Kirkland , the host city , in the championship game .
Still_JAD

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"You can't fix stupid" ~ Ron White
Skinny

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Reply with quote  #9 
Kirkland is no daisy either. There are smells all around this story. 
TerpAlum

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First the excuse that others did stuff first does not fly. You break a rule, you break a rule.

Second, local editorial says LL went overboard and kids should not be held to higher standards than adults....and the election of Trump and his lack of values doesn't mean anything.
Ain't life grand.
spazsdad

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Reply with quote  #11 
Life is grand. You should try enjoying it. Perhaps it's the fault of the male LL coach.
outofzone

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skinny
Kirkland is no daisy either. There are smells all around this story. 


Where it smells is the official responsible for handing down the punishment was the Host City LL official. Conflict? Possibly. Optics for LL tainted a bit though. Another point, valid or otherwise, it was Kirkland parents of players who were responsible for the initial action. Apparently Kirkland Coaches were appeased by initial apologies & seemingly willing to let issue dissipate but Kirkland parents demanded otherwise. So with their handy local LL official present, Atlee out. 

How Kirkland team takes the field with any self respect is up for debate but, I guess the parents were happy, at least until they lost the game. 

IMO, Atlee team was justly punished, although all the local reports think the punishment went too far. It's tough to rationalize that position when it appears each Atlee coach had a daughter in the picture.
outofzone

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by spazsdad
Life is grand. You should try enjoying it. Perhaps it's the fault of the male LL coach.


LOL, Atlee HC is a woman. Male is an Asst.
PBLC20

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Reply with quote  #14 
Not much sympathy for Atlee no matter what Kirkland did.  And if Kirkland had any self-respect, it would not take the field since it lost the game to Atlee fair and square.  Simply retain some dignity and forfeit.  Punishing Atlee is fine, even though I really don't like that it apparently came from a Kirkland rep. But you sure don't change the result of a game based upon actions after the game that had nothing to do with a game that was played and where nothing was in dispute.
rudymartinez

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Reply with quote  #15 
The carnage of social media has only just begun. No one is safe. You may think it won't affect you, but your kids are one tweet, snap chat, etc.. from permanent reminders of any youthful indiscretions for all to see. On a positive note, LL softball now gets 15 minutes fame.
HenryLouisAaron

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Reply with quote  #16 
I watched some of the LL championship game yesterday (it was on ESPN 2, I think) and got to see something I had never seen before. A batter hit a line shot back at the pitcher - and it knocked the glove right off the pitcher's hand. The ball and the glove landed a few feet behind the pitcher... and she did a great job of quickly getting to the ball - picking it up and throwing to first base to get the out. It was a great play by the pitcher - and a lot of fun to see it happen live on tv. You just never know when you are going to see something you have never seen before - in this game. That is another reason why I love it so much. 
knucklecurve

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Nice quote by Lincoln a few messages back.Lincoln may be the most over quoted man for things he never said in history. Unfortunately there are people out there stupid enough to thing he said that about the internet.
sportz_fanz

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Reply with quote  #18 
So these little "princesses" have not accomplished much and they are already flipping people off. Imagine what they would become if they actually accomplished something of worth ...

Can't blame it all on these little girls. The adults/coaches should have taught them sports(wo)manship. 
sportz_fanz

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBLC20
Not much sympathy for Atlee no matter what Kirkland did.  And if Kirkland had any self-respect, it would not take the field since it lost the game to Atlee fair and square.  Simply retain some dignity and forfeit.  Punishing Atlee is fine, even though I really don't like that it apparently came from a Kirkland rep. But you sure don't change the result of a game based upon actions after the game that had nothing to do with a game that was played and where nothing was in dispute.

Kirkland lost the title game Saturday to Poland, Ohio, 7-1.
redbirdone

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Reply with quote  #20 
Were any of their last names Fagan... [rofl]

I kid, I kid...
c2415

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Reply with quote  #21 
  I coached boys little league for 7 years. Little league all star teams are picked for the 8 or so teams in your district so the coaches may have not worked with half these girls all year. They are also volunteers. I think blaming these coaches is not fair. These girls parents are the ones to blame. They have had these girls their whole lives. This is Little League not the girl scouts.
  If you have ever been to a little league game you know the worst behaved people there are some of the parents. I have seen parents fight, and curse out the coaches and umpires. I have seen a 10 year old girls USSSA Little League game postpone for two hours and the cops called because of the parents.
  The coaches do the best they can but it starts with the parents.
UGASBFan

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Reply with quote  #22 
Weren't the Kirkland HC and his pitcher tossed for picking signs?

Should've just gave Poland, Ohio the win (which they took anyway) with examples like those running around.
Still_JAD

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by UGASBFan
Weren't the Kirkland HC and his pitcher tossed for picking signs?

Should've just gave Poland, Ohio the win (which they took anyway) with examples like those running around.


Since when is picking signs an ejectable offense?
NatRx

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Reply with quote  #24 
Saw this one Facebook:

"An open letter to Atlee Softball Players: DQ'd for inappropriate behavior at the Little League World Series:

You and I have a lot in common:
You don’t know me, but I am a huge softball fan. You probably think there is no way I could understand your pain, but I do, because I too have been a national embarrassment to my family, team, school, community, association and sport.
You-Inappropriate behavior (the FU sign) in the dugout, during post game.
Me-inappropriate behavior (tossed a trophy) in the dugout, during post game.

You and I have a lot in common:
I know how angry, disappointed and embarrassed you are. I know how gut wrenching these consequences are. I know you naturally want to tell the world you are good people who love the game. I understand you will want to explain what happened and what led up to it. Yikes, I know that makes your stomach turn over thinking that’s what is happening to you, right now, in this moment.
Having said that, I want you to know something, if you show remorse (even though you feel you were treated poorly), accountability (stay focused on your mistake and not that others get away with worse) and improved future behavior (you know this isn’t who you are, you know you will never let this happen again) it ends up being a GREAT learning experience and part of your story of leadership growth. I know you don’t want to hear that now, but it may get you through your long days with your friends who want the scoop: “What happened?”

Below I hope these 5 suggestions can help you during this difficult time, because you and I have a lot in common:

1. Great people/players don’t justify or deflect their mistakes. They own it and move on. I have total confidence you can do this! I don’t know you, but I believe in you.
2. Great people/players use their failure experience as part of their story to teach others, especially younger ones. Even though you are young, you are a role model for many. Use your story to teach others what you have learned. Be a big sister who knows the right way. I have total confidence you can do this! I don’t know you but I believe in you.
3. Possess the confidence in these embarrassing times, to share you know you have a pattern of good behavior, you are a good girl, who had a lapse in judgement. Trust me, this doesn’t define you or taint you for life unless you become the “Not my fault girl.” (by the way, college coaches can’t stand that “Not my fault girl”).
4. High schools, colleges and the global work force aren’t asking for PERFECT people, they are asking for hard workers, with a positive attitude and GREAT FAILURE RECOVERY SYSTEM (AKA: own your mistake and move on: don’t stay stuck in your junk).
5. Last and equally important: You will learn the sport of softball is ONE big family. You will learn many of your softball big sisters: College players, National Team Players, Olympians and National Pro Players have a story to tell about failure, accountability, and recovery. We have done some stupid stuff too. We have your back. WE STILL BELIEVE IN YOU if you show remorse, accountability and good failure recovery. It will all work out.

In summary, You and I have a lot in common
You: Signed on to being on a TEAM and agreed to be a part of a big brand called: LITTLE LEAGUE. You learned the consequences of not complying with high standards. I hope you learn that HOW you behave is VALUED MORE to LITTLE LEAGUE than access to competing for a championship
Me: I played & coached on a TEAM and agreed to be a part of a big brand called: UCLA.
I learned the consequences of not complying with high standards. I learned HOW I behave is valued MORE to UCLA than the opportunity to win a game or championship.

You will learn: Who your true friends are during this time. Remember you need your family and a close inner circle that is it. Don’t listen to the noise out there. Own it and move on.
I learned: My family and inner circle will always be there for me. To hold me accountable and get me through tough times. The same will happen for you.

You will learn: Little League, has a proven record of doing the right thing. They uphold high standards by their swift decision. I believe they will continue the investigation so all parties are held accountable, having said that, stay focused on your error in judgement, how you can show remorse, own it and move on because you can control all those things. Control the controllables and you will have greater peace of mind during this crazy time.

I hope you stay in the game a long time. It’s a wonderful community who will hold you accountable and equally important-have your back in good and bad times!
Good Luck,
Always in your back pocket, if you need me.
Coach Enquist
Softball Fan"

https://www.facebook.com/sue.enquist.3/posts/1601749229864959
PH2

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Reply with quote  #25 
Seen some conflicting reports about what actually happened and when.  Apparently the game against Kirkland ended on an out call when a runner on 2B was relaying pitches to the batter.  Originally, stories linked the two - the stealing of signals with the picture.  Then, it came out that the picture was before the game.  So, there must have been something else going on between the teams.  Doesn't excuse anything, but it doesn't sound like the whole story has been told.

I know LL is big on sportsmanship and stuff, and I don't know exactly what was being signaled, but pitch location is frequently signaled by the runner on 2B in softball.  That results in a fastball to the ribs in baseball, but it's commonly accepted in softball from what I've seen at the high school and travel ball levels.  One of the things I had a hard time understanding when my kids got into softball and I started watching for the first time.

And I agree with those who wish LL wouldn't televise these games as a representation of what the sport looks like at these age levels.  I remember watching one of the 15-17U (senior league?) games several years back and we were pretty sure our 12U travel team would have run ruled the winner of the championship game.  I'd rather see ESPN partner with PGF or ASA to show pre-college softball.
scfastpitch

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Reply with quote  #26 
PGF got their 18U championship game on ESPNU . I believe they had it set up with two double elimination brackets and then a one game championship between the winners . That's good for TV . ESPN hates if-necessary games . ASA/USA championships were streamed by Flo Softball .

Is there any true Little League Softball at any age level ? I know at the older levels It seems like a made-for-tv event . The teams are put together just to play in the national tournament . I remember watching Carly Hoover pitch on TV for a " Little League " team that did really well , but I was under the impression that she played travel ball most of the summer . 
UGASBFan

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Reply with quote  #27 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scfastpitch
PGF got their 18U championship game on ESPNU . I believe they had it set up with two double elimination brackets and then a one game championship between the winners . That's good for TV . ESPN hates if-necessary games . ASA/USA championships were streamed by Flo Softball .

Is there any true Little League Softball at any age level ? I know at the older levels It seems like a made-for-tv event . The teams are put together just to play in the national tournament . I remember watching Carly Hoover pitch on TV for a " Little League " team that did really well , but I was under the impression that she played travel ball most of the summer . 


Incoming Georgia freshman Lauren Mathis also played little league. Some of these girls do go on to play on big college teams (I think Mathis's LL team has a few) but not many.

I also remember Regan Green pitching in the "Big League" game, or whichever one is/was the 14-19 age bracket... And losing.
3leftturns

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Reply with quote  #28 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PBLC20
Not much sympathy for Atlee no matter what Kirkland did.  And if Kirkland had any self-respect, it would not take the field since it lost the game to Atlee fair and square.  Simply retain some dignity and forfeit.  Punishing Atlee is fine, even though I really don't like that it apparently came from a Kirkland rep. But you sure don't change the result of a game based upon actions after the game that had nothing to do with a game that was played and where nothing was in dispute.
+100
uwApoligist

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Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Still_JAD
Since when is picking signs an ejectable offense?

Could easily be deemed 'unsportsmanlike'.  In LL 'unsportsmanlike' is against the rules. 

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TerpAlum

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Reply with quote  #30 
At that level in LL, the "signals" were probably not picked, but rather the movement of the catcher too early was noticed. That is always signaled to the batter, but I doubt any batter has skill to see that signal and then hit the pitch. Ultimately, picking pitch location does not equal execution of hitting it (nor of the pitcher hitting that location). If you as a catcher learn of signaling, you stop moving so blatantly! Does anyone have a link to discussion or posts about the game so we can find out? The news sources are all glowy of the game because they're kids, so probably would not go near ejections.

The game was 1-0, wasn't it? So the picking was not effective to say the least.
(Also, the pic was before the game.)
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